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Mental Health and Illness as Human Rights Issues: Philosophical, Historical, and Social Perspectives and Controversies 

Mental Health and Illness as Human Rights Issues: Philosophical, Historical, and Social Perspectives and Controversies
Chapter:
Mental Health and Illness as Human Rights Issues: Philosophical, Historical, and Social Perspectives and Controversies
Author(s):

Charles Watters

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199213962.003.0003
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date: 15 October 2019

Charles Watters complements this by exploring linkages over time between mental health and illness and ideas of human rights. He highlights the conditions of those both within and outside mental health systems. He notes how the parameters of mental health have expanded, particularly in terms of familial relations and societal contribution, beyond what would formerly have been expected for people with mental disorders. He distinguishes ‘bare’ survival or ‘negative liberty’ as freedom from constraint, and the positive liberty of citizens, in which the state facilitates people realizing their goals. Watters illustrates how disorders are historically conditioned, as seen in the history of post-traumatic stress disorder, how entitlement is not true access (highlighted by the case of asylum-seekers), and the limits of social contracts as applied to those with mental illnesses.

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